alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr

Books:

Think of England by K J Charles: an enjoyable m/m romance set in the late 19th century that feels like the author has actually researched gay men in the late 19th century and read actual 19th century books? I mean it's fluffy espionage/adventure pastiche but my expectations for period romances are low. The love interest is That Effete Jew Noone Likes from books of that era except, you know, a person, which I loved. There ratio of sex to romance is higher than I usually like but they have a very sweet and convincing relationship. The one sour note for me was that while various character's antisemitism and classism was criticised the "Go to Africa to make money" technique was not, I don't know if that becomes an issue in later books in the series. Also: contains period accurate slurs etc, including from the (mostly decent but initially conservative) protagonist.

TV:

Crazy Ex Girlfriend: A neurotic lawyer is totally not having a nervous breakdown and absolutely did not move to a new town just because her highschool ex lives there. With singing. Funny and clever but full of awkward humour so I'm stalled.

Movies:

Finding Dory: A pretty enjoyable sequel to Finding Nemo about Dory searching for her parents despite her short term memory loss. Tries really hard to portray disability positively, and mostly succeeds, though it felt like the movie the parents of a disabled kid would make rather than something written by a disabled person. Also one character just needed to believe himself for his health problems to go away??

Keanu: Two suburban black guys go undercover as drug dealer hitmen to get back their stolen kitten. Was pretty fun, but I was watching on a plane and the "when will they get caught out??" tension got too much for me so I stopped.

Games:

Arcana: Demo for a kickstarter fantasy Visual Novel for phones, with intrigue and no set protagonist gender. It was interesting enough.

Solstice: Fantasy visual novel by the makers of Cinders. Not bad but the plot and characters aren't grabbing me. The phororealistic art style doesn't suit a VN, I find it jarring.

Anime:

Yuri on Ice: Omg this show is so fun. I mean it's still definitely in the "pretty boys homoerotically doing sports" genre (in this case ice skating) but (a) genuinely well made, with decent writing, humour, animation, and characterisation (b) they are my kind of pretty (c) it is so homoerotic. And never goes "no homo", and has actual decent female characters! I think the people expecting canon m/m are fooling themselves, but I'm still having fun.

New Game: I finished the season and it remained a fun, silly anime about female game developers.

Gakuen Handsome: deliberately C-grade parody of yaoi tropes. At least the episodes are short?

Yona of the Dawn: shoujo pseudo-ancient-Japan fantasy about a princess who is forced to become a warrior and gains a harem of pretty boys to protect her, eventually finding love with her loyal bodyguard/childhood friend. I quite enjoyed the first few episodes, detailing how she lost her prileged position and focusing on the interesting ot3-ish dynamic between her, her bodyguard, and another childhood friend. But past that point I got bored really quickly and stopped. She's so shoujo princess it hurts, pouting and crying and fainting and being Good, and the flashforwards showing her being badass still had ZERO other female characters so eh.

Date: 2016-11-03 06:52 am (UTC)
moonvoice: (Default)
From: [personal profile] moonvoice
I know KJ Charles and she does a *lot* of research and it's always ongoing (which also means her tone throughout her books tends to change a bit). I feel like her political awareness has increased over time, which has led to more conscious explorations in future books? At least certainly by Regency standards, but she's certainly increasingly aware in spaces like Twitter of poor Ace/Bi representation and many other things, and speaks about that (and Victorian things) frequently. Her blog is mostly on editing (as she's a pro editor as well) and then occasional Victorian snark. Here is her explanation on Victorian Titles. I also like how she engages pretty critically and thoughtfully on subjects like 'how to like bad things' (i.e. tropes that do genuinely hurt people - like noncon), but anyway I'm going on a bit now, oops. /changes subject.

So glad you're enjoying Yuri! on Ice. I'm loving it so much. I've seen some murmurs around that it's queerbait-y but I actually think it's just outright proud and happily homoerotic and trying to skirt as close to the line as possible while still staying in Japan's pretty homophobic anime conventions (outside of Yaoi, which is permissible, prime time big budget offerings are NOT allowed to Go There (TM) from what I understand). Like you say, canon m/m is not going to happen (if only), but in the meantime, it's enjoyable and I like the women in it too.

I mean maybe it depends on the definition of queerbaiting too, but I tend to think that's more of a cynical ploy to get slash people involved by people who don't care about it and will toss the tropes out in an instant to defend their own need to be 'straight foreverrrrr' (see BBC Sherlock). This doesn't feel remotely cynical, lol, it feels outright celebratory and fun.

Also I like how they change the credits a little bit with every single episode. Gives me something to watch for.

Date: 2016-11-03 09:11 am (UTC)
moonvoice: (Default)
From: [personal profile] moonvoice
Ha I think we're kind of trained to not pay attention to *long but pretty* anime credits too closely. Between ep 4 and ep 5 they added shadows beneath the skates. They added colour splashes in ep 2 I think. A friend knows all of them, I miss a lot. I go 'omg did they colour the shirts?' and she goes 'no they did that last time' so you know, :D

And yes, that's a good way of putting it with the 'obviously they're actually straight' kind of queerbaiting which is just...ugh. And the other kind which is 'these characters are actually queer so we can get our LGBTIAQ audiences in but then we're going to kill one (or both) of them because we're so edgy that way.'

I'd prefer a canon relationship too. Shows like this make me wonder if we're getting closer, but I don't knowwww, I just know I want it, lol.

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